Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention recently issued a document urging a national call to action for suicide prevention.
In 1999, the surgeon general issued the first call to action, and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention was updated in 2012 to identify 13 goals and 60 objectives.
More than 47,000 people died by suicide in 2019, and millions struggled with serious thoughts of suicide.
Suicide prevention is a complex issue requiring comprehensive solutions, according to the strategy report. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Certain groups have disproportionately high rates of suicide. These groups include indigenous communities, veterans, military service members, and ethnic, racial, sexual, and gender minorities.
Prevention efforts must identify and support individuals and groups at risk, support those affected by suicide, provide effective crisis response and care for suicide risk, and promote resilience and wellness.
People who have experience with suicide and suicide prevention should guide the efforts, the National Action Alliance said.
“We know that the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is taking a tremendous toll on Americans emotional and economic well-being,” the alliance said. “While no one is immune from the stress and anxiety resulting from this crisis, these effects are magnified in households that already faced systemic disparities before the pandemic began.”